Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tsonga Tsunami Sweeps Nadal




Despite MadProfessah's predictions yesterday, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated world No. 2 Rafael Nadal easily to reach his first Australian Open final. The score was 6-2 6-3 6-2 but the match was not even that close. Tsonga did not even face a break point until the third set and Nadal went 0 for 3 for the match while J-W was 5 for 7 in that category including a break of Rafa's very first service game(!) followed by a love hold by the Frenchman. Tsonga had 49 (+22) winners to Nadal's 13 (+1) including 27 aces (one of which was nearly 138 miles per hour).


Tsonga is projected to rise from his current 38 to (atleast) #27 on the new world rankings on Monday. He becomes the first Black man to be in a Grand Slam final since MaliVai Washington lost to Richard Krajicek in the 1996 Wimbledon final.

He becomes the first player to reach his first ATP final at a Grand Slam event since Gustavo Kuerten did at the French Open in 1997, and we all know what happened after that. (Kuerten went on to win at Roland Garros three times.)

15 comments:

Karen said...

I am so freaking happy for Jo-Willy. I hope he takes the title, even if Fed gets to the final. He has shown a lot of heart during this tournament. People are saying that Andy Murray is feeling good right about now. He lost to the eventual finalist. Woo hoo

MMT said...

Tsonga was a beast today - I would say that's the best single performance in the entire tournament. Final matchups would be interesting.

Against Djokovic, although neither has a slam to his name, he'd be under less pressure than Djokovic, who would have just beaten Federer, would be expected to win and his form has been excellent. In the tournament. But Djokovic could also blow him off the court with his power from the back.

Against Federer, all the pressure would be on Federer as well, but Federer has a more complete game, and would have plans B, C and D if Tsonga gets off to a good start.

Side-bar: I'm not sure if his father is from Congo-Kinshasa (Zaire) or Congo-Brazzaville, but having been born in Kinshasa myself, I'd love to see him do it.

Tennisfan said...

Rafa's forehanads suddenly looked like a 9 year old's. Craig, could you please comment a little on what Rafa could have done would have made a difference in Rafa's favor? Thanks in advance.

tristann said...

As a Nadal fan, I was saddened by his loss. I was very worried about this match, since I felt Tsonga had the type of game that Rafa has most trouble with.

I must say, I was very impressed by Tsonga's play and by his composure. I hope he can take this form into the final and make it a real match.

I am hoping to see Fed in the final. Sorry, I just cannot warm up to Novak at all.

Pamela said...

I'm so happy for Ali. He deserved the to get as far as he has. He's played some great matches and last night he was simply on fire. He couldn't miss and stunned my Rafa, but that's ok. I'm not saddened at all by this loss because of who it was to. Ali is definitely in my list of faves, as he has been seen I saw him last year just before Wimbledon.

Craig Hickman said...

tennisfan, there was nothing whatsover Rafa could do. He played well. He fought well. He was simply outclassed.

kraa said...

It was a stunning performance by J-Wilfried. No doubt about it. It will be interesting to see if he can replicate something like this in the final. My guess is he will not be allowed to, but I could be wrong...

Rafa was certainly outclassed today, but unfortunately it has become somewhat of a norm for him lately. It has happened already 5 times since USO (twice against Nalby and once against Fed, Youzhny and now Tsonga)...

Michael said...

So how similar is Tsonga to Baghdatis and Gonzalez, the surprising finalists in the last two years? As I recall they also powered past some great players, only to lost to Federer in the end. Tsonga seems to breeze through the tough matches more easily- I am more hopeful about his chances than I was about either of the other two.

rabbit said...

Really happy for Tsonga too! He played out of his mind against Nadal. He reminded me so much of Safin, the confident power strokes, the imagination and cunning. It was a pleasure to stay up to 6 to watch the match.

But if Federer reaches the final, I'll have to switch my allegiance :)

Kim said...

Sorry guys, this will be in Lingala....

MMT, o zali mwana mboka? No omelaki na Kin mbula 5. En tout cas, ezali coincidence makasi.

Go Tsonga Go! A ko beta batu nionso!

Kende na site na ngayi awa: kim.uing.net

jop said...

MMT, Mbote na yo! Nakwenza mudimu ne bana batekete mu Kananga. I lived for 3 years in Kananga in the eighties. My best friend, Marianne, a Congolese woman lives in DC.
Wow, its great to find others with Congolese connections here.
By the way i am Craig's husband...

Kim said...

His parents interviewed on http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/tsonga+nadal/video/x45hdh_tsonga-en-finale_sport

Karen said...

Hi Job, finally we hear a word from Craig's significant other. I was trying to figure out whether I was reading typos or not - good that you guys can communicate in other languages.

rabbit said...

mmt, it seems that his father is from Brazzaville. From his answer to the fifth-from-last question here.

Kim said...

Yup, the father is from Brazza. Kinshasa and Brazza are across the Congo River from one another making it the closest two capitals of the world.

Although these two cities differ in culture and size (Kin is 8 million and Brazza is around 1), their citizen both speak Lingala. In fact, before the Europeans came, they were the same people.

Interestingly, Brazza is known for its ping pong players, because the minister of environment there is known for his table tennis obsession.

Totally random comment. Go Tsonga Go!